Shell's Helix see-through acrylic 370Z
For many of us, oil and its path through the engine is no mystery. But for most of the general public, it's a black art, shrouded in mystery and metal. So how do you show just what's going on inside the engine without taking it to a level of abstraction that glazes eyes and flips channels? Shell has cracked that nut, building a see-through 370Z for its latest Helix commercial.
The video is all over TV, so chances are you've seen it. But if you're like us, you're probably also wondering how exactly they did it. It's not computer wizardry at work--instead, it's a real, life-size acrylic model of the 2010 Nissan 370Z built by hand as a direct copy of the original. It's not 100 percent accurate, though--the engine is twice as big as the actual engine, but the level of detail is suprising, and the model actually has functioning pistons, a crankshaft and, obviously, oil distribution channels.
Check out the video to see the parts up close and get an inside look at how they made the car.